Thursday, June 21, 2012

the joy of celebrating salvation

So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.
2 Chronicles 30:26-27

It is good to see a true renewal of spiritual life. That is what Hezekiah led Judah to experience. He had priests and Levites working with him to motivate this spiritual momentum. There was also a growing sense of purpose among the people of the nation. A kind of national movement was encouraged... a movement back to the worship of God. Out of it came a desire to celebrate Passover, the feast that remembered the salvation of God when He brought His people out of slavery in Egypt.

But there was a problem. Normally Passover would be celebrated during the first month of the Jewish calendar. But at that time there simply were not enough consecrated priests and Levites to perform the temple duties of the feast. There was a provision in the Law for "late passover" for those who were ceremonially unclean. They chose to interpret the "spirit of the Law" and set the date for the second month in allowance for this. Couriers were dispatched among the people inviting all who could come to be in Jerusalem for the feast.

And it was quite the worship celebration! It was scheduled for seven days. At the end of the week it was proclaimed to celebrate for an additional seven days. And so the Passover was celebrated for two weeks straight. And nothing like it stood in living memory. This was a watershed for a generation. it was a time of rejoicing, worship, and real blessing. And God was very pleased with the worship He received! Significant obedience led to restoration and substantive blessing.

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